Coupled North Atlantic slope water forcing on Gulf of Maine temperatures over the past millennium
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- Wanamaker, A.D., Kreutz, K.J., Schöne, B.R. et al. Clim Dyn (2008) 31: 183. doi:10.1007/s00382-007-0344-8
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To investigate ocean variability during the last millennium in the Western Gulf of Maine (GOM), we collected a 142-year-old living bivalve (Arctica islandica L.) in 2004, and three fossil A. islandica shells (calibrated 14CAMS = 1030 ± 78 ad; 1320 ± 45 ad; 1357 ± 40 ad) for stable isotope and growth increment analysis. A statistically significant relationship exists between modern GOM temperature records [shell isotope-derived (30 m) (r = −0.79; P < 0.007), Prince 5 (50 m) (r = −0.72; P < 0.019), Boothbay Harbor SST (r = −0.76; P < 0.011)], and Labrador Current (LC) transport data from the Eastern Newfoundland Slope during 1993–2003. In all cases, as LC transport increased, GOM water temperatures decreased the following year. Decadal trends in the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) influence GOM water temperatures in the most recent period, with water temperatures decreasing during NAO and AMO negative modes most likely linked to LC transport and Gulf Stream interaction. Mean shell-derived isotopic changes (δ18Oc) during the last 1,000 years were +0.47‰ and likely reflect a 1–2°C cooling from 1000 ad to present. Based on these results, we suggest that observed cooling in the GOM during the last millennium was due to increased transport and/or cooling of the LC, and decreased Gulf Stream influence on the GOM.